Probing Quotes

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Perhaps all the questions we ask of love, to measure, test, probe, and save it, have the additional effect of cutting it short. Perhaps the reason we are unable to love is that we yearn to be loved, that is, we demand something (love) from our partner instead of delivering ourselves up to him demand-free and asking for nothing but his company.
Milan Kundera (The Unbearable Lightness of Being)
Ow!" said Horace as the Ranger's fingers probed and poked around the bruise. Did that hurt?" Halt asked, and Horace looked at him with exasperation. Of course it did," he said sharply. "That's why I said 'ow!
John Flanagan (The Icebound Land (Ranger's Apprentice, #3))
Gay probe coming to save me. Got it.
Andy Weir (The Martian)
Does he love me? Does he love anyone more than me? Does he love me more than I love him? Perhaps all the questions we ask of love, to measure, test, probe, and save it, have the additional effect of cutting it short. Perhaps the reason we are unable to love is that we yearn to be loved, that is, we demand something (love) from our partner instead of delivering ourselves up to him demand-free and asking for nothing but his company.
Milan Kundera (The Unbearable Lightness of Being)
I do believe in simplicity. It is astonishing as well as sad, how many trivial affairs even the wisest thinks he must attend to in a day; how singular an affair he thinks he must omit. When the mathematician would solve a difficult problem, he first frees the equation of all incumbrances, and reduces it to its simplest terms. So simplify the problem of life, distinguish the necessary and the real. Probe the earth to see where your main roots run.
Henry David Thoreau
And the way he looked at her was so intense, his big green eyes probing into her, like he approved of everything she held inside.
Lauren Kate (Fallen (Fallen, #1))
There are no forbidden questions in science, no matters too sensitive or delicate to be probed, no sacred truths.
Carl Sagan
The sister played so beautifully. Her face was tilted to one side and she followed the notes with soulful and probing eyes. Gregor advanced a little, keeping his eyes low so that they might possibly meet hers. Was he a beast if music could move him so?
Franz Kafka (The Metamorphosis)
Beyond work and love, I would add two other ingredients that give meaning to life. First, to fulfill whatever talents we are born with. However blessed we are by fate with different abilities and strengths, we should try to develop them to the fullest, rather than allow them to atrophy and decay. We all know individuals who did not fulfill the promise they showed in childhood. Many of them became haunted by the image of what they might have become. Instead of blaming fate, I think we should accept ourselves as we are and try to fulfill whatever dreams are within our capability. Second, we should try to leave the world a better place than when we entered it. As individuals, we can make a difference, whether it is to probe the secrets of Nature, to clean up the environment and work for peace and social justice, or to nurture the inquisitive, vibrant spirit of the young by being a mentor and a guide.
Michio Kaku
Sometimes a man doesn't know how badly he's hurt until someone else probes the wound.
Robin Hobb (Assassin's Quest (Farseer Trilogy, #3))
A point of view can be a dangerous luxury when substituted for insight and understanding.
Marshall McLuhan (The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man)
Ultimately evil is done not so much by evil people, but by good people who do not know themselves and who do not probe deeply.
Reinhold Niebuhr
Introduction to Poetry I ask them to take a poem and hold it up to the light like a color slide or press an ear against its hive. I say drop a mouse into a poem and watch him probe his way out, or walk inside the poem's room and feel the walls for a light switch. I want them to waterski across the surface of a poem waving at the author's name on the shore. But all they want to do is tie the poem to a chair with rope and torture a confession out of it. They begin beating it with a hose to find out what it really means.
Billy Collins (The Apple that Astonished Paris)
When introverts go to church, we crave sanctuary in every sense of the word, as we flee from the disorienting distractions of twenty-first-century life. We desire to escape from superficial relationships, trivial communications and the constant noise that pervade our world, and find rest in the probing depths of God's love.
Adam S. McHugh (Introverts in the Church: Finding Our Place in an Extroverted Culture)
[08:31] JPL: Good, keep us posted on any mechanical or electronic problems. By the way, the name of the probe we’re sending is Iris. Named after the Greek goddess who traveled the heavens with the speed of wind. She’s also the goddess of rainbows. [08:47] WATNEY: Gay probe coming to save me. Got it.
Andy Weir (The Martian)
God, you’re uptight. Did the aliens maybe forget to remove your anal probe?
Cherise Sinclair (To Command and Collar (Masters of the Shadowlands, #6))
Fortunate is he whose mind has the power to probe the causes of things and trample underfoot all terrors and inexorable fate.
Virgil
It is difficult to produce a television documentary that is both incisive and probing when every twelve minutes one is interrupted by twelve dancing rabbits singing about toilet paper.
Rod Serling
Ambulances were cool. “You just want to fondle my extraneous body parts,” I said to the EMT as I picked up a silver gadget that looked disturbingly like an alien orifice probe, broke it, then promptly put it back, hoping it wouldn’t leave someone’s life hanging in the balance because the EMT couldn’t alien-probe his orifices.
Darynda Jones (First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson, #1))
People could push and pull at you, and poke you, and probe as deep as they could go. They could even tear you apart, bit by bit. But at the heart and root and soul of you, something would remain untouched.
Lauren Oliver (Liesl & Po)
You know, Miss Holly, you look very dramatic like that, backlit by the fire. Very attractive, if I may say so. I know you shared a moment passionne with Artemis which he subsequently fouled up with his typical boorish behavior. Let me just throw something out there for you to consider while we're chasing the probe: I share Artemis's passion but not his boorishness. No pressure; just think about it. This was enough to elicit a deafening moment of silence even in the middle of a crisis, which Orion seemed to be blissfully unaffected by.
Eoin Colfer (The Atlantis Complex (Artemis Fowl, #7))
A faith without some doubts is like a human body with no antobodies in it. People who blithely go through life too busy or indifferent to ask the hard questions about why they believe as they do will find themselves defenseless against either the experience of tragedy or the probing questions of a smart skeptic. A person's faith can collapse almost overnight if she failed over the years to listen patiently to her own doubts, which should only be discarded after long reflection.
Timothy J. Keller
Who's Evan?" Ian asked. "Amy's boyfriend!" "Amy, since when do you have a boyfriend?" Ian probed. "Since none of your business!
Gordon Korman (The Medusa Plot (39 Clues: Cahills vs. Vespers, #1))
Now that you’ve abducted me, does this mean you’re going to strip me naked and probe me?
Eve Langlais (Alien Mate 3 (Alien Mate, #3))
I measure every Grief I meet With narrow, probing, Eyes; I wonder if It weighs like Mine, Or has an Easier size. I wonder if They bore it long, Or did it just begin? I could not tell the Date of Mine, It feels so old a pain. I wonder if it hurts to live, And if They have to try, And whether, could They choose between, It would not be, to die. I note that Some -- gone patient long -- At length, renew their smile. An imitation of a Light That has so little Oil. I wonder if when Years have piled, Some Thousands -- on the Harm Of early hurt -- if such a lapse Could give them any Balm; Or would they go on aching still Through Centuries above, Enlightened to a larger Pain By Contrast with the Love. The Grieved are many, I am told; The reason deeper lies, -- Death is but one and comes but once, And only nails the eyes. There's Grief of Want and Grief of Cold, -- A sort they call "Despair"; There's Banishment from native Eyes, In sight of Native Air. And though I may not guess the kind Correctly, yet to me A piercing Comfort it affords In passing Calvary, To note the fashions of the Cross, And how they're mostly worn, Still fascinated to presume That Some are like My Own.
Emily Dickinson (I'm Nobody! Who Are You? (Scholastic Classics))
Perhaps all the questions we ask of love, to measure, test, probe, and save it, have the additional effect of cutting it short.
Milan Kundera (The Unbearable Lightness of Being)
With the inevitability of a tongue returning to probe a painful tooth, we come back and back and back again to our fears, sitting to talk them over with the eagerness of a hungry man before a full and steaming plate.
Clive Barker (Books of Blood, Volume Two (Books of Blood, #2))
Let us take care of ourselves instead of burning out in the long run. The path of our inner world is not an irreversible freeway to immutable integrity. Let us thus leave room for some probing during the fast and furious assault of the wishful targets throughout our lives. We need not feel demeaned either when we waver in facing the hassling crossroads coming up or must admit needing incidental backing or feel compelled to accept to question ourselves to the bottom. ("Poste Restante")
Erik Pevernagie
It is completely selfless love: Tereza did not want anything of Karenin; She did not ever ask him to love her back. Nor has she ever asked herself the questions that plague human couples: Does he love me? Does he love anybody more than me? Does he love me more than I love him? Perhaps all the questions we ask of love, to measure, test, probe, and save it, have the additional effect of cutting it short. Perhaps the reason we are unable to love is that we yearn to be loved, that is, we demand something (love) from our partner instead of delivering ourselves to him demand-free and asking for nothing but his company.
Milan Kundera (The Unbearable Lightness of Being)
You want me here. (Artemis) Yeah, like an alien rectal probe up my sphincter.' (Acheron)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Acheron (Dark-Hunter, #14))
Why are we reading, if not in hope of beauty laid bare, life heightened and its deepest mystery probed? Can the writer isolate and vivify all in experience that most deeply engages our intellects and our hearts? Can the writer renew our hope for literary forms? Why are we reading if not in hope that the writer will magnify and dramatize our days, will illuminate and inspire us with wisdom, courage, and the possibility of meaningfulness, and will press upon our minds the deepest mysteries, so that we may feel again their majesty and power? What do we ever know that is higher than that power which, from time to time, seizes our lives, and reveals us startlingly to ourselves as creatures set down here bewildered? Why does death so catch us by surprise, and why love? We still and always want waking.
Annie Dillard (The Writing Life)
Let us probe the silent places, let us seek what luck betide us; Let us journey to a lonely land I know. There's a whisper on the night-wind, there's a star agleam to guide us, And the Wild is calling, calling...let us go
Robert W. Service (The Spell of the Yukon and Other Verses)
She knew this music--knew it down to the very core of her being--but she had never heard it before. Unfamiliar, it had still always been there inside her, waiting to be woken. It grew from the core of mystery that gives a secret its special delight, religion its awe. It demanded to be accepted by simple faith, not dissected or questioned, and at the same time, it begged to be doubted and probed.
Charles de Lint (The Little Country)
The change which the writing wrought in me (and of which I did not write) was only a beginning; only to prepare me for the gods' surgery. They used my own pen to probe my wound.
C.S. Lewis (Till We Have Faces)
Abandon certainty! That's life's deepest command. That's what life's all about. We're a probe into the unknown, into the uncertain. Why can't you hear Muad'Dib? If certainty is knowing absolutely an absolute future, then that's only death disguised! Such a future becomes now!
Frank Herbert (Children of Dune (Dune Chronicles #3))
His face was tense, his jaw flexed as he stared at her. She could hardly stand to meet his eyes. They were an ocean of betrayal. They probed her, searching for the smallest sign that she didn't mean it. That spark of hope that never seemed to go out.
Aprilynne Pike (Spells (Wings, #2))
There's a fine line between imagination and reality. An inventor dreams something up, and pretty soon, it's there on the table before him. A science-fiction writer envisions another world, and then some space probe finds it. If you believe in something strongly enough, I think you can make it happen.
Ridley Pearson (Disney After Dark (Kingdom Keepers, #1))
And because I had been a hustler, I knew better than all whites knew, and better than nearly all of the black 'leaders' knew, that actually the most dangerous black man in America was the ghetto hustler. Why do I say this? The hustler, out there in the ghetto jungles, has less respect for the white power structure than any other Negro in North America. The ghetto hustler is internally restrained by nothing. He has no religion, no concept of morality, no civic responsibility, no fear--nothing. To survive, he is out there constantly preying upon others, probing for any human weakness like a ferret. The ghetto hustler is forever frustrated, restless, and anxious for some 'action'. Whatever he undertakes, he commits himself to it fully, absolutely. What makes the ghetto hustler yet more dangerous is his 'glamour' image to the school-dropout youth in the ghetto.These ghetto teen-agers see the hell caught by their parents struggling to get somewhere, or see that they have given up struggling in the prejudiced, intolerant white man’s world. The ghetto teen-agers make up their own minds they would rather be like the hustlers whom they see dressed ‘sharp’ and flashing money and displaying no respect for anybody or anything. So the ghetto youth become attracted to the hustler worlds of dope, thievery, prostitution, and general crime and immorality.
Malcolm X (The Autobiography of Malcolm X)
With our limited senses and consciousness, we only glimpse a small portion of reality. Furthermore, everything in the universe is in a state of constant flux. Simple words and thoughts cannot capture this flux or complexity. The only solution for an enlightened person is to let the mind absorb itself in what it experiences, without having to form a judgment on what it all means. The mind must be able to feel doubt and uncertainty for as long as possible. As it remains in this state and probes deeply into the mysteries of the universe, ideas will come that are more dimensional and real than if we had jumped to conclusions and formed judgments early on.
Robert Greene (Mastery)
but that mimosa grove - the haze of stars, the tingle, the flame, the honey-dew, and the ache remained with me, and that little girl with her seaside limbs and ardent tongue haunted me ever since." "this then is my story. i have reread it. it has bits of marrow sticking to it, and blood, and beautiful bright-green flies. at this or that twist of it i feel my slippery self eluding me, gliding into deeper and darker waters than i care to probe.
Vladimir Nabokov (Lolita)
You need someone to probe you in that direction. It won't just happen automatically." I knew what he was saying. We all need teachers in our lives.
Mitch Albom (Tuesdays with Morrie)
[...] My wild words slip into fusion and risk losing the solid ground. So stranger, get wilder still. Probe the highlands.
Jim Morrison (Wilderness: The Lost Writings, Vol. 1)
Cities at night, I feel, contain men who cry in their sleep and then say Nothing. It's nothing. Just sad dreams. Or something like that...Swing low in your weep ship, with your tear scans and sob probes, and you would mark them. Women--and they can be wives, lovers, gaunt muses, fat nurses, obsessions, devourers, exes, nemeses--will wake and turn to these men and ask, with female need-to-know, "What is it?" And the men will say, "Nothing. No it isn't anything really. Just sad dreams.
Martin Amis (The Information)
He was the kind of young man whose handsome face has brought him plenty of success in the past and is now ever-ready for a new encounter, a fresh-experience, always eager to set off into the unknown territory of a little adventure, never taken by surprise because he has worked out everything in advance and is waiting to see what happens, a man who will never overlook any erotic opportunity, whose first glance probes every woman's sensuality, and explores it, without discriminating between his friend's wife and the parlour-maid who opens the door to him. Such men are described with a certain facile contempt as lady-killers, but the term has a nugget of truthful observation in it, for in fact all the passionate instincts of the chase are present in their ceaseless vigilance: the stalking of the prey, the excitement and mental cruelty of the kill. They are constantly on the alert, always ready and willing to follow the trail of an adventure to the very edge of the abyss. They are full of passion all the time, but it is the passion of a gambler rather than a lover, cold, calculating and dangerous. Some are so persistent that their whole lives, long after their youth is spent, are made an eternal adventure by this expectation. Each of their days is resolved into hundreds of small sensual experiences - a look exchanged in passing, a fleeting smile, knees brushing together as a couple sit opposite each other - and the year, in its own turn, dissolves into hundreds of such days in which sensuous experience is the constantly flowing, nourishing, inspiring source of life.
Stefan Zweig (The Burning Secret and other stories)
Heartsick, heartbroken— To know love is to know pain. What could be more common? Even so, each broken heart is so singular That with it we probe the divine.
Rumi (Jalal ad-Din Muhammad ar-Rumi)
Dalek Sec: The Doctor will open the Ark! The Doctor: Ha ha, the Doctor will not. Dalek Sec: You have no way of resisting! The Doctor: Mm, you got me there. [withdrawing the sonic screwdriver] Although, there is always this. Dalek Sec: A sonic probe? The Doctor: [with jocular bravado] That's screwdriver. Dalek Sec: It is harmless. The Doctor: Ohh, yes. Harmless is just the word: that's why I like it! Doesn't kill, doesn't wound, doesn't maim. But I'll tell you what it does do: It is very good at opening doors. [He pushes the switch and the doors explode inwards; Jake's squad and some Cybermen run in and open fire.]
Russell T. Davies
I chose the specialty of surgery because of Matron, that steady presence during my boyhood and adolescence. 'What is the hardest thing you can possibly do?' she said when I went to her for advice on the darkest day of the first half of my life. I squirmed. How easily Matron probed the gap between ambition and expediency. 'Why must I do what is hardest?' 'Because, Marion, you are an instrument of God. Don't leave the instrument sitting in its case my son. Play! Leave no part of your instrument unexplored. Why settle for 'Three Blind Mice' when you can play the 'Gloria'? 'But, Matron, I can't dream of playing Bach...I couldn't read music. 'No, Marion,' she said her gaze soft...'No, not Bach's 'Gloria'. Yours! Your 'Gloria' lives within you. The greatest sin is not finding it, ignoring what God made possible in you.
Abraham Verghese (Cutting for Stone)
Never affirm, always allude: allusions are made to test the spirit and probe the heart.
Umberto Eco (The Island of the Day Before)
First of all, I must make it clear that this girl does not know herself apart from the fact that she goes on living aimlessly. Were she foolish enough to ask herself 'Who am I?', she would fall flat on her face. For the question 'Who am I?' creates a need. And how does one satisfy that need? To probe oneself is to recognize that one is incomplete.
Clarice Lispector (The Hour of the Star)
I measure every Grief I meet With narrow, probing, Eyes; I wonder if It weighs like Mine, Or has an Easier size.
Emily Dickinson
If you fear making anyone mad, then you ultimately probe for the lowest common denominator of human achievement.
Jimmy Carter
She still loves him. This is the fact she wakes up to each morning. She checks it, sometimes, a tongue probing an aching tooth, making sure it still hurts.
Hala Alyan (Salt Houses)
A person is not like a thing that you put down in one place and leave, a person moves, thinks, asks, questions, doubts, investigates, probes, and while it is true that, out of a long habit of resignation, he sooner or later ends up looking as if he has submitted to the objects, don't go thinking that this apparent submission is necessarily permanent.
José Saramago (The Cave)
Great God! What have I turned into? What right have you people to clutter up my life, steal my time, probe my soul, suckle my thoughts, have me for your companion, confidant, and information bureau? What do you take me for? Am I an entertainer on salary, required every evening to play an intellectual farce under your stupid noses? Am I a slave, bought and paid for, to crawl on my belly in front of you idlers and lay at your feet all that I do and all that I know?
Henry Miller (Tropic of Cancer (Tropic, #1))
I know you can take care of yourself," he said, with absolute certainty. His vivid eyes probed hers. With the same underlying resolve, he lifted a hand and brushed her cheek with his fingertips. "I just don't think... you shouldn't have to.
Angela N. Blount (Once Upon a Road Trip (Once Upon a Road Trip, #1))
The most interesting thing about writing is the way that it obliterates time. Three hours seem like three minutes. Then there is the business of surprise. I never know what is coming next. The phrase that sounds in the head changes when it appears on the page. Then I start probing it with a pen, finding new meanings. Sometimes I burst out laughing at what is happening as I twist and turn sentences. Strange business, all in all. One never gets to the end of it. That’s why I go on, I suppose. To see what the next sentences I write will be.
Gore Vidal
Corruption and envy and lust for power. Cruelty and coldness. A vicious probing curiousity. Pure, poisonous, toxic malice. You have never from your earliest years shown a shred of compassion for sympathy or kindness without calculating how it would return to your advantage. You have tortured and killed without regret or hesitation; you have betrayed and intrigued and gloried in your treachery. You are a cess-pit of moral filth.
Philip Pullman (The Amber Spyglass (His Dark Materials, #3))
Only those will apprehend religion who can probe its depth, who can combine intuition and love with the rigor of method
Abraham Joshua Heschel
When I didn't say anything, he came closer, dropping slowly to his haunches so we were at eye level. My eyes searched his gorgeous face and for once, I wished I could break my own damn rules. I had a feeling Braden would be able to make me forget everything for a while. We gazed at one another for what seemed like forever, not saying a word. I was expecting a lot of questions since it must have been clear to everyone, or at least the adults at the table, that I had had a panic attack. Surely, they were all wondering why, and I really didn't want to go back out there. "Better?" Braden finally asked softly. Wait. Was that it? No probing questions? "Yeah." No, not really. He must have read my reaction to his question in my face because he cocked his head to the side, his gaze thoughtful. "You don't need to tell me." I cracked a humorless smile. "I'll just let you think I'm bat-shit crazy." Braden smiled back at me. "I already know that.
Samantha Young (On Dublin Street (On Dublin Street, #1))
I have done a number of things to keep this man. I have lied and cheated. I have been sexy and meek, fierce and vulnerable. I have been everything but myself. He is mine right now, but I am never enough for him. I can feel it — see it in the way he looks at me. His eyes are always probing, searching for something. I don’t know what he’s looking for. I wish I did. I cannot compete against a baby — my baby. I am who I am. My name is Leah, and I will do anything to keep my husband.
Tarryn Fisher (Dirty Red (Love Me with Lies, #2))
Take a shot in front of D.L. Probing for a vein in my dirty bare foot… Junkies have no shame… They are impervious to the repugnance of others. It is doubtful if shame can exist in the absence of sexual libido… The junky’s shame disappears with his nonsexual sociability which is also dependent on libido…
William S. Burroughs (Naked Lunch)
The Saint whose water can light lamps, the clairvoyant whose lapse in recall is the breath of God, the true paranoid for whom all is organized in spheres joyful or threatening about the central pulse of himself, the dreamer whose puns probe ancient fetid shafts and tunnels of truth all act in the same special relevance to the word, or whatever it is the word is there, buffering, to protect us from. The act of metaphor than was a thrust at truth and a lie, depending where you were: inside, safe or outside, lost.
Thomas Pynchon (The Crying of Lot 49)
The illusion is irresistible. Behind every face there is a self. We see the signal of consciousness in a gleaming eye and imagine some ethereal space beneath the vault of the skull, lit by shifting patterns of feeling and thought, charged with intention. An essence. But what do we find in that space behind the face, when we look? The brute fact is there is nothing but material substance: flesh and blood and bone and brain…You look down into an open head, watching the brain pulsate, watching the surgeon tug and probe, and you understand with absolute conviction that there is nothing more to it. There’s no one there.
Thomas Metzinger (Being No One: The Self-Model Theory of Subjectivity)
We are the hands and eyes and ears, the sensitive probing feelers through which the emergent, intelligent universe comes to know its own form and purpose. We bring the thunderbolt of meaning and significance to unconscious matter, blank paper, the night sky. We are already divine magicians, already supergods. Why shouldn't we use all our brilliance to leap in as many single bounds as it takes to a world beyond ours, threatened by overpopulation, mass species extinction, environmental degradation, hunger, and exploitation? Superman and his pals would figure a way out of any stupid cul-de-sac we could find ourselves in - and we made Superman, after all. All it takes is that one magic word.
Grant Morrison (Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human)
The purpose of all of this (left hemisphere's way of choosing denial or repression over considering an anomaly) is to impose stability on behavior and to prevent vacillation because indecisiveness doesn't serve any purpose. Any decision, so long as it is probably correct, is better than no decision at all. A perpetually fickle general will never win a war.
V.S. Ramachandran (Phantoms in the Brain: Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind)
So here is the greatest irony of all: that the self that almost by definition is entirely private is to significant extent a social construct.
V.S. Ramachandran (Phantoms in the Brain: Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind)
But the life of a Willa Cather, a Lillian Helman, and Virginia Woolf - - - would it not be a series of rapid ascents and probing descents into shades and meanings — into more people, ideas and conceptions? Would it not be in color, rather than black-and-white, or more gray? I think it would. And thus, I not being them, could try to be more like them: to listen, observe, and feel, and try to live more fully.
Sylvia Plath (The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath)
Why are we reading, if not in hope of beauty laid bare, life heightened and its deepest mystery probed? Can the writer isolate and vivify all in experience that most deeply engages our intellects and our heats? Can the writer renew our hope for literary forms? Why are we reading if not in hope that the writer will magnify and dramatize our days, will illuminate and inspire us with wisdom, courage, and the possibility of meaningfulness, and will press upon our minds the deepest mysteries, so we may feel again their majesty and power?
Annie Dillard (The Writing Life)
It’s … difficult to explain. It’s … it’s like … I think it’s as though everyone has a small place inside themselves, maybe, a private bit that they keep to themselves. It’s like a little fortress, where the most private part of you lives—maybe it’s your soul, maybe just that bit that makes you yourself and not anyone else.” His tongue probed his swollen lip unconsciously as he thought. “You don’t show that bit of yourself to anyone, usually, unless sometimes to someone that ye love greatly.” The hand relaxed, curling around my knee. Jamie’s eyes were closed again, lids sealed against the light. “Now, it’s like … like my own fortress has been blown up with gunpowder—there’s nothing left of it but ashes and a smoking rooftree, and the little naked thing that lived there once is out in the open, squeaking and whimpering in fear, tryin’ to hide itself under a blade of grass or a bit o’ leaf, but … but not … makin’ m-much of a job of it.” His voice broke, and he turned his head so that his face was hidden in my skirt.
Diana Gabaldon (Outlander (Outlander, #1))
Carefully, with the sharpness of the knife tucked within the curved grip of his hand, he began to probe my entrance with the handle. It was hard, but warm from his hand. The edges were rounded, smooth as it rubbed over my wet, swollen flesh. "You're going to get off on this knife, Jess," he said. "And I'm going to hold you open, nice and still, so you don't get hurt.
Harley Laroux (The Dare (Losers, #0.5))
We should try to leave the world a better place than when we entered it. As individuals, we can make a difference, whether it is to probe the secrets of Nature, to clean up the environment and work for peace and social justice, or to nurture the inquisitive, vibrant spirit of the young by being a mentor and a guide.
Michio Kaku
But it is not only at these outward forms that we must look to find the evidence of a nation's hurt. We must look as well at the heart of guilt that beats in each of us, for there the cause lies. We must look, and with our own eyes see, the central core of defeat and shame and failure which we have wrought in the lives of even the least of these, our brothers. And why must we look? Because we must probe to the bottom of our collective wound. As men, as Americans, we can no longer cringe away and lie. Are we not all warmed by the same sun, frozen by the same cold, shone on by the same lights of time and terror here in America? Yes, and if we do not look and see it, we shall all be damned together.
Thomas Wolfe (You Can't Go Home Again)
On a plaque attached to the NASA deep space probe we [human beings] are described in symbols for the benefit of any aliens who might meet the spacecraft as “bilaterly symmetrical, sexually differentiated bipeds, located on one of the outer spiral arms of the Milky Way, capable of recognising the prime numbers and moved by one extraordinary quality that lasts longer than all our other urges—curiosity.
David G. Wells
At least one way of measuring the freedom of any society is the amount of comedy that is permitted, and clearly a healthy society permits more satirical comment than a repressive, so that if comedy is to function in some way as a safety release then it must obviously deal with these taboo areas. This is part of the responsibility we accord our licensed jesters, that nothing be excused the searching light of comedy. If anything can survive the probe of humour it is clearly of value, and conversely all groups who claim immunity from laughter are claiming special privileges which should not be granted.
Eric Idle
In eleven or twelve years of writing, Mike, I can lay claim to at least this: I have never written beneath myself. I have never written anything that I didn't want my name attached to. I have probed deeper in some scripts and I've been more successful in some than others. But all of them that have been on, you know, I'll take my lick. They're mine and that's the way I wanted them.
Rod Serling
And Edward was staring at me curiously, that same, familiar edge of frustation even more distinct now in his black eyes. I stared back, surprised, expecting him to look quickly away. But instead he continued to gaze with probing intensity into my eyes. There was no question of me looking away. My hands started to shake. "Mr. Cullen?" the teacher called, seeking the answer to a question that I haden't heard. "The Krebs Circle," Edward answered, seeming relucant as he turned to look at Mr. Banner. I looked down at my book as soon as his eyes released me, trying to find my place. Cowardly as ever, I shifted my hair over my right shoulder to hide my face. I couldn't believe the rush of emotion pulsing through me - just because he'd happened to look at me for the first time in a half-dozen weeks. I couldn't allow him to have this level of influence over me. It was pathetic. More than pathetic, it was unhealthy.
Stephenie Meyer (Twilight (The Twilight Saga, #1))
This was my conversion to the baroque. Here under that high and insolent dome, under those tricky ceilings; here, as I passed through those arches and broken pediments to the pillared shade beyond and sat, hour by hour, before the fountain, probing its shadows, tracing its lingering echoes, rejoicing in all its clustered feats of daring and invention, I felt a whole new system of nerves alive within me, as though the water that spurted and bubbled among its stones was indeed a life-giving spring.
Evelyn Waugh (Brideshead Revisited)
In the twentieth century, astrophysicists in the United States discovered galaxies, the expanding of the universe, the nature of supernovas, quasars, black holes, gamma-ray bursts, the origin of the elements, the cosmic microwave background, and most of the known planets in orbit around solar systems other than our own. Although the Russians reached one or two places before us, we sent space probes to Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. American probes have also landed on Mars and on the asteroid Eros. And American astronauts have walked on the Moon. Nowadays most Americans take all this for granted, which is practically a working definition of culture: something everyone does or knows about, but no longer actively notices. While shopping at the supermarket, most Americans aren’t surprised to find an entire aisle filled with sugar-loaded, ready-to-eat breakfast cereals. But foreigners notice this kind of thing immediately, just as traveling Americans notice that supermarkets in Italy display vast selections of pasta and that markets in China and Japan offer an astonishing variety of rice. The flip side of not noticing your own culture is one of the great pleasures of foreign travel: realizing what you hadn’t noticed about your own country, and noticing what the people of other countries no longer realize about themselves.
Neil deGrasse Tyson (Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries)
Perhaps the greatest strike against philosophical pessimism is that its only theme is human suffering. This is the last item on the list of our species’ obsessions and detracts from everything that matters to us, such as the Good, the Beautiful, and a Sparking Clean Toilet Bowl. For the pessimist, everything considered in isolation from human suffering or any cognition that does not have as its motive the origins, nature, and elimination of human suffering is at base recreational, whether it takes the form of conceptual probing or physical action in the world—for example, delving into game theory or traveling in outer space, respectively. And by “human suffering,” the pessimist is not thinking of particular sufferings and their relief, but of suffering itself. Remedies may be discovered for certain diseases and sociopolitical barbarities may be amended. But those are only stopgaps. Human suffering will remain insoluble as long as human beings exist. The one truly effective solution for suffering is that spoken of in Zapffe’s “Last Messiah.” It may not be a welcome solution for a stopgap world, but it would forever put an end to suffering, should we ever care to do so. The pessimist’s credo, or one of them, is that nonexistence never hurt anyone and existence hurts everyone. Although our selves may be illusory creations of consciousness, our pain is nonetheless real.
Thomas Ligotti (The Conspiracy Against the Human Race)
Individual humans are not super, but the organism of which we are all tiny cellular parts is most certainly that. The life-form that's so big we forget it's there, that turns minerals on its planet into tools to touch the infinite black gap between stars or probe the obliterating pressures at the bottom of the oceans. We are already part of a superbeing, a monster, a god, a living process that is so all encompassing that it is to an individual life what water is to a fish. We are cells in the body of a three-billion-year-old life-form whose roots are in the Precambrian oceans and whose genetic wiring extends through the living structures of everything on the planet, connecting everything that has ever lived in one immense nervous system.
Grant Morrison (Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human)
A good question is not concerned with a correct answer. A good question cannot be answered immediately. A good question challenges existing answers. A good question is one you badly want answered once you hear it, but had no inkling you cared before it was asked. A good question creates new territory of thinking. A good question reframes its own answers. A good question is the seed of innovation in science, technology, art, politics, and business. A good question is a probe, a what-if scenario. A good question skirts on the edge of what is known and not known, neither silly nor obvious. A good question cannot be predicted. A good question will be the sign of an educated mind. A good question is one that generates many other good questions. A good question may be the last job a machine will learn to do. A good question is what humans are for.  •
Kevin Kelly (The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future)
Bullies are all the same, whether they are in the schoolyard, in the workplace, or ruling a country through terror. They thrive on fear and intimidation. Bullies gain their strength through the timid and faint of heart. They are like sharks who sense fear in the water. They will circle to see if their prey is struggling. They will probe to see if their victim is weak. If you don't find the courage to stand your ground, they will strike. In life, to achieve your goals, to complete the night swim, you will have to be men and women of great courage. That courage is within all of us. Dig deep and you will find it in abundance.
William H. McRaven (Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life...And Maybe the World)
Madeleine in her turn stared at him steadily, straight into his eyes, in a profound, strange way, as if seeking to read something there, as if seeking to discover there that hidden part of a human being which can never be fathomed but may perhaps be glimpsed for a fleeting instant, in those moments of unguardedness or surrender or inattention, that are like doors left ajar onto the mysterious depths of the spirit... they stood for a few seconds, each gazing into the other's eyes, each striving to reach the impenetrable secret of the other's heart, to probe each other's thoughts to the quick. They tried, in a mute and passionate questioning, to see the other's conscience in its essential truth: the intimate struggles of two beings who, living side by side, never really know one another, who suspect and sniff around and spy on one another, but cannot plumb the miry depths of one another's soul.
Guy de Maupassant (Bel-Ami)
Es ist unmöglich zu überprüfen, welche Entscheidung die richtige ist, weil es keine Vergleiche gibt. Man erlebt alles unmittelbar, zum ersten Mal und ohne Vorbereitung. Wie ein Schauspieler, der auf die Bühne kommt, ohne vorher je geprobt zu haben. Was aber kann das Leben wert sein, wenn die erste Probe für das Leben schon das Leben selber ist? Aus diesem Grund gleicht das Leben immer einer Skizze. Auch „Skizze“ ist nicht das richtige Wort, weil Skizze immer ein Entwurf zu etwas ist, die Vorbereitung eines Bildes, während die Skizze unseres Lebens eine Skizze von nichts ist, ein Entwurf ohne Bild. Einmal ist keinmal, sagt sich Tomas. Wenn man ohnehin nur einmal leben darf, so ist es, als lebe man überhaupt nicht.
Milan Kundera (Die unerträgliche Leichtigkeit des Seins)
Oh, sorry, am I being difficult?” Rich asked. “I’m not good with people. Sometimes I’m difficult. I wish people would just tell me. Anyway, the Taiyang Shen is critical. In fact, my idea won’t work without it. But a Mars probe? Pfft. C’mon.” “All right,” Venkat said. “What’s your idea?” Rich snatched a paper from the desk. “Here it is!” He handed it to Venkat with a childlike smile. Venkat took the summary and skimmed it. The more he read, the wider his eyes got. “Are you sure about this?” “Absolutely!” Rich beamed. “Have you told anyone else?” “Who would I tell?” “I don’t know,” Venkat said. “Friends?” “I don’t have any of those.” “Okay, keep it under your hat.” “I don’t wear a hat.” “It’s just an expression.” “Really?” Rich said. “It’s a stupid expression.” “Rich, you’re being difficult.” “Ah. Thanks.
Andy Weir (The Martian)
By the time we grow up we become masters at dissimulation, at cultivating a self that the world cannot probe. But we pay a price. After years of turning people away, of protecting our inner self, of cultivating it by living in a different world, of furnishing this world with our fantasies and dreams—lo and behold we find that we are hopelessly separated from everyone else. We have become victims of our own art. We touch people on the outsides of their bodies, and they us, but we cannot get at their insides and cannot reveal our insides to them. This is one of the great tragedies of our interiority—it is utterly personal and unrevealable. Often we want to say something unusually intimate to a spouse, a parent, a friend, communicate something of how we are really feeling about a sunset, who we really feel we are—only to fall strangely and miserably flat. Once in a great while we succeed, sometimes more with one person, less or never with others. But the occasional break-through only proves the rule. You reach out with a disclosure, fail, and fall back bitterly into yourself. We emit huge globs of love to our parents and spouses, and the glob slithers away in exchange of words that are somehow beside the point of what we are trying to say. People seem to keep bumping up against each other with their exteriors and falling away from each other. The cartoonist Jules Feiffer is the modern master of this aspect of the human tragedy. Take even the sexual act—the most intimate merger given to organisms. For most people, even for their entire lives, it is simply a joining of exteriors. The insides melt only in the moment of orgasm, but even this is brief, and a melting is not a communication. It is a physical overcoming of separateness, not a symbolic revelation and justification of one’s interior. many people pursue sex precisely because it is a mystique of the overcoming of the separateness of the inner world, and they go from one partner to another because they can never quite achieve “it." So the endless interrogations: “What are you thinking about right now—me? Do you feel what I feel? Do you love me?
Ernest Becker
A faith without some doubts is like a human body without any antibodies in it. People who blithely go through life too busy or indifferent to ask hard questions about why they believe as they do will find themselves defenseless against either the experience of tragedy or the probing questions of a smart skeptic. A person's faith can collapse almost overnight if she has failed over the years to listen patiently to her own doubts, which should only be discarded after long reflection. Believers should acknowledge and wrestle with doubts — not only their own but their friends' and neighbors'. It is no longer sufficient to hold beliefs just because you inherited them. Only if you struggle long and hard with objections to your faith will you be able to provide the grounds for your beliefs to skeptics, including yourself, that are plausible rather than ridiculous or offensive. And, just as important for our current situation, such a process will lead you, even after you come to a position of strong faith, to respect and understand those who doubt.
Timothy J. Keller
I feel that for white America to understand the significance of the problem of the Negro will take a bigger and tougher America than any we have yet known. I feel that America's past is too shallow, her national character too superficially optimistic, her very morality too suffused with color hate for her to accomplish so vast and complex a task. Culturally the Negro represents a paradox: Though he is an organic part of the nation, he is excluded by the ride and direction of American culture. Frankly, it is felt to be right to exclude him, and it if felt to be wrong to admit him freely. Therefore if, within the confines of its present culture, the nation ever seeks to purge itself of its color hate, it will find itself at war with itself, convulsed by a spasm of emotional and moral confusion. If the nation ever finds itself examining its real relation to the Negro, it will find itself doing infinitely more than that; for the anti-Negro attitude of whites represents but a tiny part - though a symbolically significant one - of the moral attitude of the nation. Our too-young and too-new America, lusty because it is lonely, aggressive because it is afraid, insists upon seeing the world in terms of good and bad, the holy and the evil, the high and the low, the white and the black; our America is frightened of fact, of history, of processes, of necessity. It hugs the easy way of damning those whom it cannot understand, of excluding those who look different, and it salves its conscience with a self-draped cloak of righteousness. Am I damning my native land? No; for I, too, share these faults of character! And I really do not think that America, adolescent and cocksure, a stranger to suffering and travail, an enemy of passion and sacrifice, is ready to probe into its most fundamental beliefs.
Richard Wright (Black Boy)
When left alone, quantum particles behave as multiple images of themselves (as waves, really), simultaneously moving through all possible paths in space and time. Now, again, why do we not experience this multitude around ourselves? Is it because we are probing things around us all the time? Why do all experiments that involve, say, the position of a particle make the particle suddenly be somewhere rather than everywhere? No one knows. Before you probe it, a particle is a wave of possibilities. After you've probed it, it is somewhere, and subsequently it is somewhere for ever, rather than everywhere again. Strange, that. Nothing, within the laws of quantum physics, allows for such a collapse to happen. It is an experimental mystery and a theoretical one. Quantum physics stipulates that whenever something is there, it can transform into something else, of course, but it cannot disappear. And since quantum physics allows for multiple possibilities simultaneously, these possibilities should then keep existing, even after a measurement is made. But they don't. Every possibility but one vanishes. We do not see any of the others around us. We live in a classical world, where everything is based on quantum laws but nothing resembles the quantum world.
Christophe Galfard (The Universe in Your Hand: A Journey Through Space, Time, and Beyond)
If our shallow, self-critical culture sometimes seems to lack a sense of the numinous or spiritual it’s only in the same way a fish lacks a sense of the ocean. Because the numinous is everywhere, we need to be reminded of it. We live among wonders. Superhuman cyborgs, we plug into cell phones connecting us to one another and to a constantly updated planetary database, an exo-memory that allows us to fit our complete cultural archive into a jacket pocket. We have camera eyes that speed up, slow down, and even reverse the flow of time, allowing us to see what no one prior to the twentieth century had ever seen — the thermodynamic miracle of broken shards and a puddle gathering themselves up from the floor to assemble a half-full wineglass. We are the hands and eyes and ears, the sensitive probing feelers through which the emergent, intelligent universe comes to know its own form and purpose. We bring the thunderbolt of meaning and significance to unconscious matter, blank paper, the night sky. We are already divine magicians, already supergods. Why shouldn’t we use all our brilliance to leap in as many single bounds as it takes to a world beyond ours, threatened by overpopulation, mass species extinction, environmental degradation, hunger, and exploitation? Superman and his pals would figure a way out of any stupid cul-de-sac we could find ourselves in — and we made Superman, after all.
Grant Morrison (Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human)
On the morning of our second day, we were strolling down the Champs-Elysées when a bird shit on his head. ‘Did you know a bird’s shit on your head?’ I asked a block or two later. Instinctively Katz put a hand to his head, looked at it in horror – he was always something of a sissy where excrement was concerned; I once saw him running through Greenwood Park in Des Moines like the figure in Edvard Munch’s ‘The Scream’ just because he had inadvertently probed some dog shit with the tip of his finger – and with only a mumbled ‘Wait here’ walked with ramrod stiffness in the direction of our hotel. When he reappeared twenty minutes later he smelled overpoweringly of Brut aftershave and his hair was plastered down like a third-rate Spanish gigolo’s, but he appeared to have regained his composure. ‘I’m ready now,’ he announced. Almost immediately another bird shit on his head. Only this time it really shit. I don’t want to get too graphic, in case you’re snacking or anything, but if you can imagine a pot of yoghurt upended onto his scalp, I think you’ll get the picture. ‘Gosh, Steve, that was one sick bird,’ I observed helpfully. Katz was literally speechless. Without a word he turned and walked stiffly back to the hotel, ignoring the turning heads of passers-by. He was gone for nearly an hour. When at last he returned, he was wearing a windcheater with the hood up. ‘Just don’t say a word,’ he warned me and strode past. He never really warmed to Paris after that.
Bill Bryson (Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe)
He realized that all men were like this; that each person was to himself one alone. One oneness, a unit in a society, but always afraid. Like here, standing. If he should scream, if he should holler for help, would it matter? Blackness could come swiftly, swallowing; in one titanically freezing moment all would be concluded. Long before dawn, long before police with flashlights might probe the dark, disturbed pathway, long before men with trembling brains could rustle down the pebbles to his help. Even if they were within five hundred yards of him now, and help certainly was, in three seconds a dark tide could rise to take all ten years from him and— The essential impact of life’s loneliness crushed his beginning-to-tremble body. Mother was alone, too. She could not look to the sanctity of marriage, the protection of her family’s love, she could not look to the United States Constitution or the City Police, she could not look anywhere, in this very instant, save into her heart, and there she would find nothing but uncontrollable repugnance and a will to fear. In this instant it was an individual problem seeking an individual solution. He must accept being alone and work on from there.
Ray Bradbury (Dandelion Wine)
It was she made me acquainted with love. She went by the peaceful name of Ruth I think, but I can't say for certain. Perhaps the name was Edith. She had a hole between her legs, oh not the bunghole I had always imagined, but a slit, and in this I put, or rather she put, my so-called virile member, not without difficulty, and I toiled and moiled until I discharged or gave up trying or was begged by her to stop. A mug's game in my opinion and tiring on top of that, in the long run. But I lent myself to it with a good enough grace, knowing it was love, for she had told me so. She bent over the couch, because of her rheumatism, and in I went from behind. It was the only position she could bear, because of her lumbago. It seemed all right to me, for I had seen dogs, and I was astonished when she confided that you could go about it differently. I wonder what she meant exactly. Perhaps after all she put me in her rectum. A matter of complete indifference to me, I needn't tell you. But is it true love, in the rectum? That's what bothers me sometimes. Have I never known true love, after all? She too was an eminently flat woman and she moved with short stiff steps, leaning on an ebony stick. Perhaps she too was a man, yet another of them. But in that case surely our testicles would have collided, while we writhed. Perhaps she held hers tight in her hand, on purpose to avoid it. She favoured voluminous tempestuous shifts and petticoats and other undergarments whose names I forget. They welled up all frothing and swishing and then, congress achieved, broke over us in slow cascades. And all I could see was her taut yellow nape which every now and then I set my teeth in, forgetting I had none, such is the power of instinct. We met in a rubbish dump, unlike any other, and yet they are all alike, rubbish dumps. I don't know what she was doing there. I was limply poking about in the garbage saying probably, for at that age I must still have been capable of general ideas, This is life. She had no time to lose, I had nothing to lose, I would have made love with a goat, to know what love was. She had a dainty flat, no, not dainty, it made you want to lie down in a corner and never get up again. I liked it. It was full of dainty furniture, under our desperate strokes the couch moved forward on its castors, the whole place fell about our ears, it was pandemonium. Our commerce was not without tenderness, with trembling hands she cut my toe-nails and I rubbed her rump with winter cream. This idyll was of short duration. Poor Edith, I hastened her end perhaps. Anyway it was she who started it, in the rubbish dump, when she laid her hand upon my fly. More precisely, I was bent double over a heap of muck, in the hope of finding something to disgust me for ever with eating, when she, undertaking me from behind, thrust her stick between my legs and began to titillate my privates. She gave me money after each session, to me who would have consented to know love, and probe it to the bottom, without charge. But she was an idealist. I would have preferred it seems to me an orifice less arid and roomy, that would have given me a higher opinion of love it seems to me. However. Twixt finger and thumb tis heaven in comparison. But love is no doubt above such contingencies. And not when you are comfortable, but when your frantic member casts about for a rubbing-place, and the unction of a little mucous membrane, and meeting with none does not beat in retreat, but retains its tumefaction, it is then no doubt that true love comes to pass, and wings away, high above the tight fit and the loose.
Samuel Beckett (Molloy / Malone Dies / The Unnamable)
I later learned that while Elsie was at Crownsville, scientists often conducted research on patients there without consent, including one study titled "Pneumoencephalographic and skull X-ray studies in 100 epileptics." Pneumoencephalography was a technique developed in 1919 for taking images of the brain, which floats in a sea of liquid. That fluid protects the brain from damage, but makes it very difficult to X-ray, since images taken through fluid are cloudy. Pneumoencephalography involved drilling holes into the skulls of research subjects, draining the fluid surrounding their brains, and pumping air or helium into the skull in place of the fluid to allow crisp X-rays of the brain through the skull. the side effects--crippling headaches, dizziness, seizures, vomiting--lasted until the body naturally refilled the skull with spinal fluid, which usually took two to three months. Because pneumoencephalography could cause permanent brain damage and paralysis, it was abandoned in the 1970s. "There is no evidence that the scientists who did research on patients at Crownsville got consent from either the patients of their parents. Bases on the number of patients listed in the pneumoencephalography studyand the years it was conducted, Lurz told me later, it most likely involved every epileptic child in the hospital including Elsie. The same is likely true of at lest on other study called "The Use of Deep Temporal Leads in the Study of Psychomotor Epilepsy," which involved inserting metal probes into patients' brains.
Rebecca Skloot (The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks)
I think about the sheer number of people who pulled together just to save my sorry ass, and I can barely comprehend it. My crewmates sacrificed a year of their lives to come back for me. Countless people at NASA worked day and night to invent rover and MAV modifications. All of JPL busted their asses to make a probe that was destroyed on launch. Then, instead of giving up, they made another probe to resupply Hermes. The China National Space Administration abandoned a project they'd worked on for years just to provide a booster. The cost for my survival must have been hundreds of millions of dollar. All to save one dorky botanist. Why bother? Well, okay. I know the answer to that. Part of it might be what I represent: progress, science, and the interplanetary future we've dreamed of for centuries. But really, they did it because every human being has a basic instinct to help each other out. It might not seem that way sometimes, but it's true. If a hiker gets lost in the mountains, people will coordinate a search. If a train crashes, people will line up to give blood. If an earthquake levels a city, people all over the world will send emergency supplies. This is so fundamentally human that it's found in every culture without exception. Yes, there are assholes who just don't care, but they're massively outnumbered by the people who do. And because of that, I had billions of people on my side. Pretty cool, eh?
Andy Weir (The Martian)
You know what I think?” Touching him feels so good, so strangely uncomplicated, like he’s the exception to every rule. “What?” “I think you love your job,” he says softly. “I think you work that hard because you care ten times more than the average person.” “About work,” I say. “About everything.” His arms tighten around me. “Your sister. Your clients. Their books. You don’t do anything you’re not going to do one hundred percent. You don’t start anything you can’t finish. “You’re not the person who buys the stationary bike as part of a New Year’s resolution, then uses it as a coatrack for three years. You’re not the kind of woman who only works hard when it feels good, or only shows up when it’s convenient. If someone insults one of your clients, those fancy kid gloves of yours come off, and you carry your own pen at all times, because if you’re going to have to write anything, it might as well look good. You read the last page of books first—don’t make that face, Stephens.” He cracks a smile in one corner of his mouth. “I’ve seen you—even when you’re shelving, you sometimes check the last page, like you’re constantly looking for all the information, trying to make the absolute best decisions.” “And by you’ve seen me,” I say, “you mean you’ve watched me.” “Of course I fucking do,” he says in a low, rough voice. “I can’t stop. I’m always aware of where you are, even if I don’t look, but it’s impossible not to. I want to see your face get stern when you’re emailing a client’s editor, being a hard-ass, and I want to see your legs when you’re so excited about something you just read that you can’t stop crossing and uncrossing them. And when someone pisses you off, you get these red splotches.” His fingers brush my throat. “Right here.” “You’re a fighter,” he says. “When you care about something, you won’t let anything fucking touch it. I’ve never met anyone who cares as much as you do. Do you know what most people would give to have someone like that in their life?” His eyes are dark, probing, his heartbeat fast. “Do you know how fucking lucky anyone you care about is? You know . . .
Emily Henry (Book Lovers)
In 1817 the twenty-two-year-old poet John Keats wrote a letter to his brothers in which he explained his most recent thoughts on the creative process. The world around us, he wrote, is far more complex than we can possibly imagine. With our limited senses and consciousness, we only glimpse a small portion of reality. Furthermore, everything in the universe is in a state of constant flux. Simple words and thoughts cannot capture this flux or complexity. The only solution for an enlightened person is to let the mind absorb itself in what it experiences, without having to form a judgment on what it all means. The mind must be able to feel doubt and uncertainty for as long as possible. As it remains in this state and probes deeply into the mysteries of the universe, ideas will come that are more dimensional and real than if we had jumped to conclusions and formed judgments early on. To accomplish this, he wrote, we must be capable of negating our ego. We are by nature fearful and insecure creatures. We do not like what is unfamiliar or unknown. To compensate for this, we assert ourselves with opinions and ideas that make us seem strong and certain. Many of these opinions do not come from our own deep reflection, but are instead based on what other people think. Furthermore, once we hold these ideas, to admit they are wrong is to wound our ego and vanity. Truly creative people in all fields can temporarily suspend their ego and simply experience what they are seeing, without the need to assert a judgment, for as long as possible. They are more than ready to find their most cherished opinions contradicted by reality.
Robert Greene (Mastery)
The myth of quantum consciousness sits well with many whose egos have made it impossible for them to accept the insignificant place science perceives for humanity, as modern instruments probe the farthest reaches of space and time. ... quantum consciousness has about as much substance as the aether from which it is composed. Early in this century, quantum mechanics and Einstein’s relativity destroyed the notion of a holistic universe that had seemed within the realm of possibility in the century just past. First, Einstein did away with the aether, shattering the doctrine that we all move about inside a universal, cosmic fluid whose excitations connect us simultaneously to one another and to the rest of the universe. Second, Einstein and other physicists proved that matter and light were composed of particles, wiping away the notion of universal continuity. Atomic theory and quantum mechanics demonstrated that everything, even space and time, exists in discrete bits – quanta. To turn this around and say that twentieth century physics initiated some new holistic view of the universe is a complete misrepresentation of what actually took place. ... The myth of quantum consciousness should take its place along with gods, unicorns, and dragons as yet another product of the fantasies of people unwilling to accept what science, reason, and their own eyes tell them about the world.
Victor J. Stenger
Iubirea adevărată e o experienţă a bucuriei împărtăşite şi ea iradiază, ca atare, în întregul spaţiu din jurul său. Evident, nu cred în utopia unei exaltări de fiecare clipă, sau în convieţuirea paradiziacă, în care totul e roz, adorabil, ireproşabil. Vreau doar să spun că dacă o întîlnire de dragoste devine prea complicată, dacă emoţia, farmecul şi plăcerea se umplu, dintr-un motiv sau altul, de cearcăne, ceva în măruntaiele acestei întîlniri e pe cale de a se deteriora. De asemenea, dacă frumuseţea întîlnirii se cuplează cu nefericirea masivă a altora. O mare iubire care sfîrşeşte prin a ruina cariere, caractere, vieţi e o iubire mai curînd strîmbă şi are puţine şanse de happy end. Sintagme de tipul „sînt îndrăgostit fără speranţă“, „sînt îndrăgostit şi mă simt vinovat“, „sînt îndrăgostit şi nu mai sînt bun de nimic“ n-au ce căuta în vocabularul iubirii. Iubirea adevărată e creatoare, mobilizatoare, restauratoare. E tonică, simplă, vitală. Amărăciunile, neîncrederea, infernul geloziei, suspiciunile mărunte, spaima de viitor şi tot alaiul de indispoziţii cotidiene care confiscă uneori viaţa cuplului sînt preliminarii şi semne ale ratării. Iubirea fericită este, dimpotrivă, un corelativ a reuşitei umane, o binecuvîntare care îmbogăţeşte şi înfrumuseţează inventarul destinului pămîntesc. Fericirea se multiplică, atunci cînd e atentă la fericirea partenerului, iar fericirea cuplului aşază asupra întregii comunităţi un cer mai curat şi mai hrănitor. Ştiu foarte bine că descrierea de mai sus nu se potriveşte tuturor iubirilor, că iubirile fericite nu se întîlnesc pe toate drumurile (deşi sînt sigur că ele sînt mai numeroase decît ne închipuim). Dar iubirile nefericite ar trebui şterse din registrul iubirii: admit că ele sînt curente, aproape inevitabile şi că îşi au nimbul lor de tragism şi de respectabilitate. Nu sînt însă iubiri adevărate: sînt doar teribile probe existenţiale, provocări tainice ale sorţii, materie primă pentru o eventuală soluţie de înţelepciune. Iubirea adevărată e fericire pe termen lung, sau nu e deloc.
Andrei Pleșu (Despre frumusețea uitată a vieții)
The answer to that question is…I won’t. You belong with me. Which leads me to the discussion I wanted to have with you.” “Where I belong is for me to decide, and though I may listen to what you have to say, that doesn’t mean I will agree with you.” “Fair enough.” Ren pushed his empty plate to the side. “We have some unfinished business to take care of.” “If you mean the other tasks we have to do, I’m already aware of that.” “I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about us.” “What about us?” I put my hands under the table and wiped my clammy palms on my napkin. “I think there are a few things we’ve left unsaid, and I think it’s time we said them.” “I’m not withholding anything from you, if that’s what you mean.” “You are.” “No. I’m not.” “Are you refusing to acknowledge what has happened between us?” “I’m not refusing anything. Don’t try to put words in my mouth.” “I’m not. I’m simply trying to convince a stubborn woman to admit that she has feelings for me.” “If I did have feelings for you, you’d be the first one to know.” “Are you saying that you don’t feel anything for me?” “That’s not what I’m saying.” “Then what are you saying?” “I’m saying…nothing!” I spluttered. Ren smiled and narrowed his eyes at me. If he kept up this line of questioning, he was bound to catch me in a lie. I’m not a very good liar. He sat back in his chair. “Fine. I’ll let you off the hook for now, but we will talk about this later. Tigers are relentless once they set their minds to something. You don’t be able to evade me forever.” Casually, I replied, “Don’t get your hopes up, Mr. Wonderful. Every hero has his Kryptonite, and you don’t intimidate me.” I twisted my napkin in my lap while he tracked my every move with his probing eyes. I felt stripped down, as if he could see into the very heart of me. When the waitress came back, Ren smiled at her as she offered a smaller menu, probably featuring desserts. She leaned over him while I tapped my strappy shoe in frustration. He listened attentively to her. Then, the two of them laughed again. He spoke quietly, gesturing to me, and she looked my way, giggled, and then cleared all the plates quickly. He pulled out a wallet and handed her a credit card. She put her hand on his arm to ask him another question, and I couldn’t help myself. I kicked him under the table. He didn’t even blink or look at me. He just reached his arm across the table, took my hand in his, and rubbed the back of it absentmindedly with his thumb as he answered her question. It was like my kick was a love tap to him. It only made him happier. When she left, I narrowed my eyes at him and asked, “How did you get that card, and what were you saying to her about me?” “Mr. Kadam gave me the card, and I told her that we would be having our dessert…later.” I laughed facetiously. “You mean you will be having dessert later by yourself this evening because I am done eating with you.” He leaned across the candlelit table and said, “Who said anything about eating, Kelsey?” He must be joking! But he looked completely serious. Great! There go the nervous butterflies again. “Stop looking at me like that.” “Like what?” “Like you’re hunting me. I’m not an antelope.” He laughed. “Ah, but the chase would be exquisite, and you would be a most succulent catch.” “Stop it.” “Am I making you nervous?” “You could say that.” I stood up abruptly as he was signing the receipt and made my way toward the door. He was next to me in an instant. He leaned over. “I’m not letting you escape, remember? Now, behave like a good date and let me walk you home. It’s the least you could do since you wouldn’t talk with me.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))